At any of the 15 Great Life Golf and Fitness locations, guests are encouraged to invent their own triathlon of gusto, switching from swimming in the pool to getting a total body workout to playing a round of golf. Great Life has facilities scattered throughout Kansas and Missouri, including golf courses such as the National Audubon Society–certified River Oaks and the links at The Oaks, which were designed by Tom Bendelow and opened in the 1920s. Golfers looking for quick rounds can drop by the nine-hole courses at Maple Creek, Abilene, and CedarBrook. Gyms such as the 14,000-square-foot fitness center at Berkshire allow members or guests to pump iron or run on treadmills when they aren’t helping their golf balls safely reach the greens by paying golf carts to drink all of the water hazards dry. Although amenities vary at each club, all of Great Life Golf and Fitness’s venues boast a pro shop, and the courses at Berkshire and Prairie View maintain driving ranges where golfers can make golf balls practice flying without their parachutes.
An emerald jewel set into the 1,000-acre framework of a residential community, the championship course at Creekmoor meanders along ridges and conceals daunting holes in tree-shaded valleys. The course's lush zoysia fairways and 65 sand bunkers challenge both greenthumb golfers and green-jacket holders as they hunt eagles and birdies across its 18 holes. Their path to glory takes hazardous turns at the crystalline lake that borders hole seven, while prevailing winds push balls off course near the ninth hole—a 660-yard behemoth known as The Monster at Creekmoor. Before launching their dimpled projectiles at that unholy beast, golfers can practice knightly strokes and parries on the course's driving range.
Course at a Glance:
Dynamic golf duo Robin and Mark Nigro help golfers develop optimal swings at Robin Nigro Golf Academy's full driving range, pro shop, and academy. The pair first joined forces when Mark began teaching golf to Robin, then 23, who thrived under Mark's deft training and, in two short years, ascended the ranks from late-starting beginner to a competitor on the Futures Mini Tour. Recognizing their undeniable chemistry, the two joined forces and now foster successful golf skills with lessons tailored to golfers of all stripes, often enlisting technological teaching aids to enhance their swing diagnoses and placate the club's supercomputer overlord.
Those looking for solo practice sessions can take to the outdoor driving range, where clubbers launch balls off of astroturf hitting mats out into a zoysia-grass valley peppered with multiple target areas. With covered, heated hitting bays, the range lets pin hunters work on their power draw or high fade while safely protected from rainstorms or predatory hot air balloons.
Any amateur golfer who has ever wondered what separates their swing from that of a pro can find out at Martin City Sports Complex. The sports haven's ModelGolf system compares fledgling swings with an analyzed composite of more than 120 PGA and LPGA pros, charting the similarities and differences. Afterward, golfers can take that information and work toward the ideal at the complex's 28-person double-decker driving range, where heated stalls host year-round practice and keep winter players from mistaking a snowball for a golf ball. And as swings become more refined, the resident club expert, Bert Benjamin, can create a club custom-fitted to each player.
Although golf—in both regular-sized and miniature form—is undeniably the focus at Martin City, it's not the only sport celebrated there. Paintball finds its place with both a speedball area and wooded arena, which players ride to in a real army truck. Each summer, athletes can also find a small sliver of the Atlantic beach in Kansas City by stepping up to the net at Martin City's sand volleyball courts.
The acoustic whoosh of swooping golf clubs welcomes players to Peculiar Golf & Learning Center, where a stable of 16 driving range stalls fosters flusher drives and straighter approaches for players of all abilities. The range features both natural grass and artificial turf hitting surfaces, and clubbers can take aim at distant targets or windswept parade floats from covered or open-air hitting bays, all of which are illuminated by towering lights for late-night practice. A staff of resident aces presides over lessons conducted at the Center, where they help correct swing imbalances and illiterate clubs at the Center's practice green or sand bunker. A fully-stocked pro shop rounds out the Center's deep reservoir of golf resources with an array of clubs, bags, apparel, and other golf gear from brands such as Ping, Callaway, Nike, and TaylorMade.
Deer Creek Golf Club’s experienced staff, plush facilities, and picturesque championship course create an enjoyably mummy-free outdoor experience for golfers of any handicap. After calling to reserve a tee time, ball-banging golf-cart gurus can wreak polite and well-dressed havoc while carefully soft-spiking across all 18 of Deer Creek Golf Club’s holes, which have been designed to test the skills of experienced club-wielders while still giving beginners an exciting, accessible playing field. An included cart rental lets you easily navigate the course’s 6,811 yards of beautiful rolling hillocks, winding waterways, and tree-friendly areas while providing a means of escape from herds of disgruntled deer statues.